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Family Liparidae or Sea slugs (Liparidae)

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FAMILY LIPARA OR MARINE SLIMA (LIPARIDAE)

Liparic - fish are tadpole-shaped, with thin, mobile, sometimes transparent skin and soft muscles. The head is wide, thickened. The body is laterally compressed, rather long, high in front, gradually lowering towards the caudal fin, which is always more or less distinct. The head is sometimes slightly flattened, the snout is short, blunt, the mouth is moderate, final. Gill openings are relatively small. The dorsal and anal fins are long, made of soft and flexible rays. Pectoral fins with a very wide base. The ventral fins merge and form a suction disk, which is sometimes rudimentary or even absent

The family of marine slugs is mainly distributed in the waters of the northern part of the Pacific Ocean (13 genera and about 75% of species), and in a lesser variety (4 genera and about 15% of species) this family is represented in the Arctic Ocean and in the waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean. Several species were found in the depths of the tropical Pacific Ocean and in the coastal cold waters of the Antarctic region. Currently, more than 14 genera and 120 species are known.

Three genus of sea slugs are especially characteristic and rich in species - liparnes (40-42 species), kareprocts (54 species) paralysis (about 30 species).

Representatives of the genus Liparis (Liparis) live at depths from 0 to 450 m, but mainly in coastal waters and on the mainland. Genus species Kareprocts (Careproctus) are absent in shallow coastal waters and occur from a depth of 20-30 m (rarely) to the depth of 7579 m known to fish. Moreover, about half of the species does not go below 540 m, and the other half does not rise above this depth, delimiting the distribution of two groups of species of this genus. Kind Paralysis (Paraliparis) is distributed from 128 to 3240 m, but the delimiting depth for species of this genus is a depth of 900 m.

This nature of the vertical distribution of lipar fish from littoral and shallow water to great depths suggests that at the initial stage of evolution they were shallow coastal bottom fish and only in the process of historical development gradually conquered the depths of the seas and oceans. Therefore, fish of this family living at great depths are classified as secondary-deep-sea, or continental-deep-sea, fish.

It is interesting to note that in connection with the transition from shallow water to depth, the number of rays in the dorsal and anal fins increases, while in the pectoral and caudal fins their number decreases, as does the number of pyloric appendages, and the size of the gill openings also decreases. The number of vertebrae increases with depth, but their hardness decreases. The suction disk also decreases with depth, and in genera and species of a semi-pelagic and pelagic lifestyle, the disk is completely absent (the genera Paraliparis, Acantholiparis, Nectoliparis, Lipariscus, Rhodichthys). In some species, for example, the Atlantic rodichtis (Rhodichthys regina) and the Pacific nectoliparis (Nectoliparis pelagicus), the lower rays of the pectoral fins are separated and pushed down from the bases of these fins so that they can easily be mistaken for abdominal fins.

Interesting changes in body color in species Kareprocts (Careproctus), which covers perhaps the greatest depth range known for one genus, from 20-30 to 7579 m. Kareproct species living at shallow depths, up to 200-300 m, are usually light, bright pink or red, living at a depth of 200-300 to 2500 m - red or red-brown with black, from 2500 to 3500 m - dark or black. In the deepest species living at a depth of 6100-7572 m, color is completely absent and pink muscles shine through colorless skin. In accordance with the increase in the depth of habitation, the color of the peritoneum also changes in kareprocts: in coastal species it is light, in the deeper layers of water the number of species with a dark or black peritoneum increases, at depths from 2500 to 3500 m only species with a black peritoneum live, but in the most a deep-water species (Careproctus amblystomopsis) from a depth of 7579 m, the peritoneum is deprived of pigment, as is the skin. A similar color change with depth is also observed in paraliparis, but there is a greater percentage of dark-colored fish, respectively, the depth of distribution.

In connection with a change in the depth of habitat, the size of the eyes also changes, which is also found for some other families of secondary-deep-sea fish (Zoarc> Fish from the family of marine slugs are adapted to live at the bottom in coastal and deep waters, but pelagic species are also known, for example nectoliparis (Nectoliparis pelagicus), living in the water column at a depth of 550-1100 m.

Spawning liparis is confined to the winter months. The bottom caviar, large, small in many species is deposited on hydroids. Hatching larvae go through the planktonic stage.

Some of the largest, up to 40 cm long kareprokt (Sagergostus) living in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. By the time of spawning, the female ovipositor grows in the form of a leathery tube up to 8 cm long. With its help, the female lays mature eggs in the near-buccal cavity of large Kamchatka crab (Paralithodes camchaticus). It is likely that she is approaching the crab from behind, where it can be used with a sufficiently large clearance between the posterior edge of the carapace and the tail. Eggs laid on the gills of a crab, washed by a continuously flowing stream of water, are in ideal development conditions with respect to aeration and protection from enemies. Such masonry caviar in the form of peculiar cakes with a diameter of 7-10 cm and a thickness of 2-4 cm, containing large (5-6 mm) eggs of a kareprokt, are found under the carapace of crabs caught by crab off the coast of Kamchatka and Alaska.

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